New Taipei Metro’s Danhai LRT line opened on December 24, 2018. The initial segment has 11 stations, an additional 3 stations including one connecting to the Lovers Bridge area in Tamsui will open by the end of 2019 or early 2020. The first phase of the Danhai light rail transit Green Mountain Line (淡海輕軌綠山線) runs at 15 minute headways between 06:30am and 22:00pm. It takes about 25-30 minutes to get from Hongshulin station V01 (Hongshulin Taipei MRT staton) to Kanding station V11 (Danhai New Town area).
Currently the line is 4.5 miles long (7.3km), but once completed it will be 9 miles (14km). There are no plans for underground segments and stations. The track runs on both elevated and surface levels. The Green Mountain Line within a few years will be connected to the Blue Line, currently under construction. Most of the light rail line uses overhead wires to power the trams, however between the Binhai Shalin and Danhai New Town stations the trams are able to run catenary free, which means the LRVs don’t have to draw power from overhead wires as they turn at the intersection between the two stations.
The Danhai Light Rail fleet consists of 15 Warrior trams built by Taiwan Rolling Stock Company (TRSC). These are the first modern light rail vehicles to be built in Taiwan. TRSC partnered with Voith Engineering Services on designing the light rail vehicles.
The Danhai light rail transit (Green Mountain Line) is part of a master plan to connect the whole Taipei metropolitan area with transportation links. With the Taoyuan MRT, which opened in 2017, along with the Taipei MRT and new LRT lines it will allow residents and visitors a like to travel without reliance of an automobile with access to alternative transportation options instead. It certainly will be interesting to see what developments sprawl up along these new lines. TOD (transit oriented development) has come with lots of benefits, but also some problems as well. I think its good to have a well connected region, which in return helps improve the quality of life.
The southern city of Kaohsiung was the first city that started a light rail system in Taiwan (2014).